The Scarlet Letter Analysis
Throughout history, sinners and misfits have been alienated from society by the people of their community. Examples of people out casting others can be found in every day life from the odd peer at school to an adult who does not share the same opinions or ideas as the majority. In the 17th century, Puritans became an important part of American history. They had strict laws and punishments and wanted a government that could enforce public morality. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the major conflict of private sin vs. public morality is evident within the story and illustrates the varying effects of guilt and sin through the characters Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne is the first main character and the book focuses mostly on her actions. Hester is a woman who committed the sin of adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale while she was still married to her husband who was thought to be dead at the time. After her affair with Dimmesdale, she becomes pregnant and the community is quick to set a severe punishment. Instead of being hung, Hester’s sentence was to stand on a scaffold for three hours with her baby, the product of her sin, and a scarlet letter “A” on her chest to show her sin to all who gazed upon her. Hester’s character is portrayed as proud and self reliant as she accepts and carries out her punishment. After her three hours with her baby, Hester makes the choice to live on the outskirts of the town in seclusion instead of fleeing and starting a new life with a clean slate. To earn money for her daughter, Pearl , Hester takes up sewing and becomes the town’s tailor. This profession puts Hester at a close proximity to her clients; nevertheless, they treat her as if she does not exist. As the story progresses, Hester Prynne’s personality changes and she starts to help the poor and consoles those in need of comforting. As she continues to help society, she evolves...
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